Friday, March 5, 2010

Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor

Title: Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor

Pages: 274

How it was obtained: A friend lent it to me.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: A few days.

Days spent reading it: 3 days.

Why I read it: It was recommended by someone in my small group.

Brief review: Shadowmancer is the creation of G.P. Taylor, a vicar in England. The story is about a corrupt priest named Demurral who calls upon the powers of darkness and unleashes spiritual forces he does not understand and cannot control. The protagonists are Thomas and Kate, young adults from the town who stumble across Demurral's plan. They are teamed up with Raphah, a mysterious person from Africa who is shipwrecked by Demurral.

I thought I might enjoy this book, but I found it hard to really get into at the beginning. The writing was slow and cumbersome. The characters were flat or over-the-top caricatures. The plot was a little cheesy. One quirk about the book that bothered me was that for a book that was openly and boldly Christian, it presents God's name as "Riathamus" and Satan's name as "Pyratheon." After a quick check on google to make sure I wasn't crazy it seems that Riathamus and Pyratheon are just made up names. {Quick edit:  Riathamus means King of Kings, and was used in reference to King Arthur.  I have no idea in which dialect, but there you go.  I still have no idea about Pyratheon either.} They probably have meaning for G.P. Taylor, but to me this just seemed like a gimmick to mask what religion he was talking about. Everything else was so blatantly Christian, down to quotes from the Bible, it seemed odd that he would use these made up names. Other authors like Ted Dekker have done something similar, and I did not like it when they did it either.

I wanted to like this book, but I found it had too many flaws for me to really appreciate. Others clearly disagree with me, because Shadowmancer became a runaway hit both in England and the US. But for me, Shadowmancer falls flat. I am delighted to see Christian fiction that people are interested in reading, but I am sorry that I cannot embrace it along with them.

Favorite quote: "Please, Captain Farrell, do one thing. Kill him. I don't care how you do it, you can bore him to death if you want to, but I want him dead. Throw him from the cliff, have him crushed by a stampeding flock of sheep, do anything, but please KILL HIM!"

Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Awkward.

No comments: